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Bruton’s volleyball team has won back-to-back matches for the first time this season after defeating York at home Thursday 25-10, 20-25, 25-22, 25-18.
The Panthers started the first set in dominating fashion, winning 11 of the first 14 points. York settled in after a timeout and began clawing itself back into the match.
Trailing 11-3, the Falcons put together a 4-0 run to pull within four points of the Panthers.
Bruton responded with a 4-0 run of its own to extend its lead back to 15-7 before pulling away and winning seven of the next eight points. Leading 22-8, the Panthers cruised to take the opening set 25-10.
“We started out that first set pretty decent,” Bruton Coach Kevin Doloresco said.
After leading for one point in the first set — taking the opening point to go up 1-0 — York found its rhythm in the second set and began stringing together quality attacking chances.
The Falcons dropped the first two points of the second set before going on a 4-0 run to go up 4-2. York held a lead in the second set until Bruton tied the set at 7-7.
Both teams proceeded to trade points back and forth, with the set sitting tied at 17-17 before York began to pull away from Bruton. A quick 3-0 run put the Falcons up 20-17, and the lead gave York enough breathing room to close out the set 25-20 to knot the match at 1-1.
“The second set was atrocious,” Doloresco said. “We had a rough time and had a mental lapse. We’re such a young team, we’re still learning how to come off a good set.”
Both teams traded blows in the second set as York jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead before watching Bruton respond with a 7-0 run to go up 9-5. While Bruton held the lead for most of the third set, York slowly chipped away at Bruton’s lead and eventually tied the set at 17-17.
A crucial 4-0 run by Bruton gave the Panthers a much-needed spark that helped them hang on to clinch the third set 25-22.
York gave Bruton one last scare in the fourth set as the Falcons refused to go away. Despite Bruton leading, York was always within striking distance of tying the set.
After a hard-fought match, York’s players began wearing down and lost some ground as the Panthers began pulling away late in the set. With Bruton leading 22-17, the Panthers closed the match with a 4-0 to lock up the win.
The win comes at a good time for Bruton, which has to play some powerful Bay Rivers District opponents — Jamestown, Poquoson, Lafayette and Warhill — to close the regular season. The Panthers (5-11) will host Jamestown on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, York (0-12) is still looking for a win on the season. The Falcons will travel to take on Tabb on Tuesday.
Bruton def. York 25-10, 20-25, 25-22, 25-18
Bruton: Gabby Calloway (23 digs, 15 kills, 3 aces), Mykael Johnson (10 digs, 7 kills, 5 aces), Makayla Johnson (6 kills, 2 assists, 1 block)
York: Sophie Periera (22 digs, 2 aces), Mackenzie Chaffin (9 kills, 9 assists, 7 digs), Aniyah Hubert (21 digs, 7 kills)
Jamestown Rolls Past New Kent
Jamestown’s volleyball team rebounded from its first Bay Rivers District loss of the season with a rout of New Kent on Thursday 25-17, 25-10, 25-15.
Led by Ellie Popelka, who finished the match with a team-high 12 kills, four blocks and four digs, Jamestown pulled no punches against the Trojans.
The Eagles cruised during all three sets, winning eight points in the first set, 15 points in the second set and 10 points in the final set.
Jamestown (16-2) is back to its winning ways and will look to keep that trend going as the Eagles prepare to visit Bruton on Tuesday.
Jamestown def. New Kent 25-17, 25-10, 25-15
Jamestown: Ellie Popelka (12 kills, 4 blocks, 4 digs, 2 aces), Madison Spence (14 assists, 6 digs, 1 ace), Maria Esch (9 digs, 5 kills)
New Kent: Kaitlyn Clayton (7 kills, 2 digs), Jade Evans (14 digs), Emiley Angle (15 assists, 4 digs)
Grafton Blows Past Lafayette
Kaitlyn Young recorded a match-high 29 assists as Grafton topped York 25-13, 25-19, 25-17 for its sixth consecutive win on Thursday.
Grafton was the dominant team from the outset, winning the opening set by 12 points.
While the next two sets were more competitive, Lafayette was never a risk to steal a set from Grafton during a straight-set victory from the Clippers.
Rachel Blitt had 10 kills and four digs for Grafton, while Haley Sutton added five aces and five digs.
Abby Oren led Lafayette with 14 kills and six digs in the losing effort.
Grafton (14-5) will face a big home game against Warhill on Tuesday, while Lafayette (8-7) will travel to take on Poquoson the same day.
Grafton def. Lafayette 25-13, 25-19, 25-17
Grafton: Haley Sutton (5 aces, 5 digs), Rachel Blitt (10 kills, 4 digs, 2 aces, 1 block), Kaitlyn Young (29 assists, 3 digs, 2 aces)
Lafayette: Abby Oren (14 kills, 6 digs)
Smithfield Downs Tabb in Four Sets
Despite strong games from its best players, Tabb was unable to keep pace with Smithfield during a 13-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 home loss Thursday.
The Tigers cruised during the first set, winning by 12 points thanks to strong play from the likes of Abby Carney and Audre’ana Ellis.
However, the last three sets belonged to Smithfield as the Packers used well-rounded play to down the Tigers.
Tabb (2-11) has lost eight consecutive matches and will look to buck the trend during a visit to York on Tuesday.
Smithfield def. Tabb 13-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18
Tabb: Abby Carney (37 assists, 5 kills), Audre’ana Ellis (18 digs, 16 kills), Sam Thomson (20 digs, 3 aces)
Poquoson Upends Warhill
Coming off its biggest win of the season against Jamestown on Tuesday, Warhill suffered a letdown at home against Poquoson on Thursday night.
The Islanders upended Warhill on its home court 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 to snap Warhill’s eight-match win streak.
After Warhill took the opening set 25-22, the Lions were overmatched by the Islanders during the final three sets. The Lions lost close in the second and third sets before being blown out in the decisive fourth set.
Warhill (10-4) will look to rebound during a road game against Grafton on Tuesday.
Individual statistics were not reported for this match.
Poquoson def. Warhill 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16
HRA Holds Off Norfolk Academy in Five Sets
Hampton Roads Academy managed to gut out a five-set victory on the road against Norfolk Academy on Thursday 25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11.
After winning the first set, HRA found itself against the ropes after falling in the next two sets by the same score of 19-25.
The Navigators pulled off a clutch win in the fourth set to push the match into a fifth and final set. In the last set, HRA managed to hold off Norfolk Academy for the 15-11 victory.
HRA (7-11) will next travel to take on Cape Henry Tuesday.
HRA def. Norfolk Academy 25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11
HRA: Megan Leavey (10 kills), Meghan Lee (14 digs, 12 kills), Rhett Deverich (17 assists)